Broadly speaking, global citizens are consciously prepared to live and work in the hyper-complex interdependent society of the 21st century and contribute to improving the common global welfare. They are people who have developed the knowledge, skills, tools, values, and commitment to:
- Understand the nature of globalization, including its positive and negative impacts around the world, and realize how it is transforming human society
- Appreciate the diversity of humanity in all of its manifestations, from local to global, and interact with different groups of people to address common concerns
- Recognize the critical global challenges that are compromising humanity’s future and see how their complexity and interconnections make solutions increasingly difficult
- Collaborate with different sets of stakeholders, by thinking globally and acting locally, to resolve these critical challenges and build a more equitably sustainable world
Never before have the lives of people globally been more interconnected than is true for the world of today. The changes caused by the political, economic, technological and environmental developments in the course of the past two to three decades have been momentous. These changes have given rise to the growing realization that “we are no longer living in national communities of fate, but in overlapping communities of fate” (David Held). We must develop and share the knowledge about how to manage this unprecedented global interconnectedness in an equitable and ethical way that allows the most people to get the maximum benefit from the forces of globalization. Not doing so may result in humanitarian and planetary damage that jeopardizes the well-being of all.
The Global Citizenship Alliance works with partners who are intentionally focused on infusing campuses with the relevant attitudes, knowledge, and strategies to prepare students to be global citizens. In partnership with a diverse group of higher education institutions (currently based primarily in the United States), the GCA offers two interrelated kinds of intensive week-long sessions, one for faculty/administrators and the other for students. Thus it engages all levels of stakeholders to create lasting and intentional change.
“At the heart of global citizenship education are ethical questions concerning the values and norms we have to observe in an interconnected world such as values of justice and compassion, of civility, respect and recognition.”
Dr. Jochen Fried, President